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This award enables her to carry out leading research on ‘cold’ carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) using low temperature separation technologies, and identifying its key potential applications.

This prestigious Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust provides engineering academics with an opportunity to enhance their current research interests or start new lines of research without teaching or administrative responsibilities. Equally, it provides an opportunity for the junior academic to gain valuable teaching and administrative experience by covering the duties of the awardee.

Upon award of the Research Fellowship, Carolina said: “I am always searching for opportunities to drive my research interests. When I found this scheme, I knew it was a perfect match for me at this stage in my career. Advancing my research on cryogenic separation (a process which involves cooling the acid gases to a very low temperature so that the CO2 can be liquefied and separated) is a priority; however, the work conducted to date has been limited by the constraints of a full-time lecturing post. The Royal Academy of Engineering Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship will significantly drive momentum on this crucial research in order to sustain a larger research group and secure further sources of funding, by concentrating full time on research.”

Professor Steve Wilkinson, Head of Chemical Engineering at the University of Chester, supported Carolina’s application: “I’m delighted that Carolina has won this award which will give her the opportunity to focus on this important research topic. She is a highly valued member of the department and we are proud that she will be working on this new technology for clean energy which is so important to everyone’s future”.

Carolina’s expertise focus on process simulation, process integration of energy systems and cryogenic carbon capture. She has a PhD from the University of Manchester and post-doctoral experience from the University of Leeds. She has worked on many leading projects and programmes and was awarded the International Research Collaboration Fund to work with the National Institute of Electricity and Clean Energy (INEEL) in Cuernavaca, Mexico. She is currently supervising David Cann, a PhD student working on the proof of concept for the A3C process (advanced cryogenic carbon capture) funded by the ERDF Eco-Innovation programme and co-supervising Reace Edwards a Costain sponsored PhD student working on decarbonising the North West of England. She is also a co-investigator of the Evaluation of the Marine Application of Advanced Carbon Capture Technology project funded by the Department for Transport.

Describing Carolina and her work, Professor Joe Howe, Executive Director, Thornton Energy Research Institute, said: “Net Zero targets require deep decarbonisation across a multitude of industrial sectors and social practices and Dr Font-Palma’s work is at the forefront of developing novel cryogenic decarbonisation technologies to carbon capture. She is a fabulous exemplar of a colleague that is addressing the ‘big challenge’ of climate change and turning it into a great opportunity for technology development for clean growth”.

The project will last for one year from September 1, 2020 and includes collaboration with other institutions such as Energy 2050 at the University of Sheffield by making use of their research facilities and strengthening existing collaborations with industrial and academic advisers such as PMW Technology, Costain, and the University of Stavanger.


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